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Ed Hume Answers Your Gardening Questions

Ed Hume cannot answer all of the garden questions he receives, but questions of general interest will be answered here every month.  Email your questions to HumeSeeds@aol.com.  Please note: we do not accept attachments.

Before submitting a question, be sure to check the index of previous questions and answers or search our site using key words.  Many questions have already been answered here on the site.

Other July Links

Bulbs That Drive Moles Away

My mole control man said that you suggested a particular kind of bulb that drives away moles. I tried searching your site but was unable to find the information I need.

The bulbs of 'The Imperial Crown Lily', Frittilaria imperialist, is said to discourage moles, because the bulbs put out an odor the moles do not like.  My son has had fairly good luck driving moles out of parts of his yard using them.

See Also: Mole Formula  Discouraging Moles Electronically  Mole Traps  Getting Rid of Moles  Moles Revisited

Controlling Japanese Clover

What can I apply to a lawn that has a lot of Japanese clover (I think that is what it is, small leaves and a small yellow flower) to get rid of it. I have tried a lawn weed killer but it does not seem to work.

For Japanese Clover use a weed killer that states on the label that it will control Japanese Clover. Lilly/Miller "Lawn Weed Killer' was one of the products used in the past. I have not seen their label this year, so check and see if it lists 'Japanese Clover', if it does, apply according to label instructions.

Protecting Bulbs From Gophers & Voles

I have been told that the gophers/moles eat the gladiola bulbs. I moved over here about two years ago. I planted gladiola bulbs of beautiful varieties from Breck Bulbs. Only one has bloomed this summer. I thought I had left them out of the ground too long during the move until I was told that gophers eat them. Is there something I can dust the bulbs in to prevent them being eaten?

Moles do not eat bulbs. Gophers and Voles do. Both leave an open hole. You can plant the bulbs encircled in a wire mesh just to be safe. In fact, there are some actual bulb planting trays on the market, just for that purpose. I would think places like 'Breck's' probably sell them. The 'Vibrating units' like 'Mole-chaser' do a pretty good job of eliminating these creatures, at least for a while. They are battery operated, and are simply submerged into the soil, in the areas where the Moles, Golphers, Voles, Schrews or other such creatures are a problem.

See Also: Mole Formula  Mole Ranger  Discouraging Moles Electronically  Mole Traps  Getting Rid of Moles  Moles Revisited

Starting Flower Seeds Outside

I am a brand new gardener and would very much like to know how to start flowers from seed outside, I had zero luck trying to start them indoors. I have been told that I do not have to start seeds indoors but I have no clue as to what to do, can you please give me some advice. I live in Reno, NV and am in zone 6, I hope I am not already to late but if you can help me at least I will know what to do next year.

It's kind of late (July) to start annuals (seasonal flowering plants) from seed, but, you can start perennials from seed now. Spade the soil, mix some peat moss , vermiculite or sponge rock into the soil. Level it, then sow the seeds as directed on the back of the seed packet. Most seed should barely be covered with soil. Keep moist until the seeds are up, then water as needed. When the seedlings are about 1 inch tall replant them into their permanent planting location.

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